The 12 sacred hills

The 12 sacred hills of the Imerina keeping the history of Madagascar

Important to Malagasy culture, the 12 sacred hills of Imerina are places of religion and pilgrimage. Associated with kings and religious figures, each of the hills has a unique history and meaning. The inhabitants of Imerina believe that the hills have spiritual powers, and that they protect those who visit them.

Let’s discover these hills and its particularities.

The hill of Analamanga,

The hill of Analamanga, sheltering the dwelling house of the queens and kings, perches in height in Antananarivo. It is the highest in the city of Antananarivo. The palace of Manjakamiadana as it is called.

The hill of Ambohimanga

The hill of Ambohimanga also forms the premises of the Rova. Surrounded by strait, the accessibility is done by seven portals. Andrianampoinimerina reigned there, giving birth to the name of this site « the origin of the unification of the country ». Classified by Unesco as world property in 2001.

The sacred mountain of Ilafy,

The sacred mountain of Ilafy, where Radama II, the assassinated king, was buried. With Jean Laborde, the first factory of manufacture of rifle for hunting was established there.

The sacred hill of Ambohidratrimo.

Take the RN4, 15 km from Antananarivo, to reach the sacred hill of Ambohidratrimo. Ratrimo, the name of the first king, affects the name of this hill. Three tombs (on which there are « tranomafana », small house) in alignment make the fame of this place.

The hill of Antsahadinta.

In the southwest of the capital, is the hill of Antsahadinta. Notice also the tombs surmounted by a « tranomafana ». The first public school was born in this place. During the reign of Radama I, James Cameron built this institution.

The sacred hill of Alasora

In the South-East of Analamanga, the sacred hill of Alasora, is among the places constituting the origin of the Merina monarchy.

The hill of Ambohimalaza,

The hill of Ambohimalaza, a place destined for the fandrona (royal bath) is located in the northwest of Antananarivo, where Prince Andrianatompokoindrindra, a pioneer of tranomafana, reigned. The sacrifice of the bovine, it is king Ralambo who exercises it first.

The hill of Ampandrana

The hill of Ampandrana is a historical region of Madagascar. Considered as the burial place of the first kings of the Merina dynasty, find it south of Antananarivo. It is a sacred place visited by thousands of pilgrims.

The hill of Antongona

The hill of Antongona remains on the route of Tsiroanomandidy, and lodges a fort. This building is to be able to locate the possible external attacks. The soldiers warn the king in case of possible invasion.

The mountain of Ambohimanambola

The mountain of Ambohimanambola is built in the southeast of Antananarivo.The kelimalaza is maintained there. An idol in the shape of V surrounded by jewels of the sovereigns, and presents the consideration of all at the time of andrianampoinimerina. See a stone intended for the sacrifices near the cage. Many taboos exist around the kelimalaza.

The hill of Ambohitrabiby

The hill of Ambohitrabiby, located 20 km north-east of Antananarivo, is the land of the ruler Ralambo, where Rabiby, the astrologer, is buried. Note also the tomb of Ralambo, this sovereign who confirmed the consumption of zebu meat.

The mountain of Ikaloy

Finally, birthplace of andrianampoinimerina, the mountain of Ikaloy, presents its access from talatavolonondry. To the north of Antananarivo, about 20 km away, discover only a few burials, and a small uninhabited house.

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